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cofeka's avatar

Question about Caitlyn Jenner's speech at 2015 ESPYS?

Asked by cofeka (154points) July 16th, 2015

At 4:31 of this speech (, she said “I’m clear with my responsibility in going forward: to tell my story the right way, for me”.

What does she mean “to tell my story the right way”?

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18 Answers

cookieman's avatar

I assume she means in an honest, thoughtful way — as opposed to the tawdry, sensationalistic version that certain media outlets seem to prefer.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I agree with @cookieman

I just wonder if this is really the best use of her time and energy. IF she wants to be an advocate for transsexuals, that’s fine. But is that really the most effective use of her platform?

ibstubro's avatar

Caitlyn Jenner does almost nothing to help me understand transgender better.

So his entire life he wanted nothing more than to embrace the stereotypical trappings of femininity that females of his generation fought against? He wanted to worry about the fashion police? Honestly, the whole thing comes off as a dog and pony show to me, and the longer it goes on the more shallow M. Jenner seems to me.

It appears that Bruce didn’t just want to be female, he wanted to be Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. A media whore – sad aspiration for anyone in my book.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@ibstubro – look at the family that he married into. The Kardashians are an embarrassment, all of them

ibstubro's avatar

I also find it nearly impossible to believe that Bruce had never met a single transgender person before a few months ago. If I remember correctly, he has been taking hormone therapy for decades. So, the doctor administered hormones, but never thought to suggest a support group? Bruce never thought to Google it?

I thought the whole Vanity Fair ‘coming out’ was a slap in the face to women. Enough with the ‘weeks of preparation’ to receive an award – picking out both the perfect dress and shoes!. Really? Is that what all this is really about? His right to spend millions making himself into a vapid woman? Honestly, I’m good with that, but fail to see the courage if that’s the end game.

“To tell my story the right way” means, evidently, tell his story through a tawdry reality TV show.

sahID's avatar

@cofeka Welcome to Fluther.

To address your question directly, there are two ways to tell anyone’s story: the right way (from the person herself, using her own words) and the wrong way (shaping her story through use of stock phrases & platitudes.) Caitlyn wishes to use her own words and thoughts to share her story so her personal truth gets honestly told.

sahID's avatar

@ibstubro You might want to be a bit careful slinging “vapid woman” barbs around. Someone might pick one up & sling it back at you.

While Caitlyn might have been a little bit tongue in cheek when she made that remark, still she summarized the process many women go through EVERY DAY when they are getting ready to go out. The more high profile (i.e. the greater the celebrity status), the greater the pressure on a woman to look “just right.” Otherwise, the fashion police have a field day pointing out the fashion gaffes the woman made.

Upon reflection, yes, it does make more sense to refer to “vapid society” in place of “vapid women”. After all, women go through this time consuming process that Caitlyn referred to just to please society in general. Perhaps put another way, women dress to please society, not themselves.

ibstubro's avatar

Bruce was married to a Kardashian so it can hardly be a revelation what’s involved in maintaining that degree of vapidness, @sahID. “Vapid woman” was intended to reference Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, specifically.

Abby Wambach presented the award and was good with less than full on glam.

It seems to me that Caitlyn’s reinforcing the notion that ‘a woman is what she wears’.

keobooks's avatar

This is one thing that does kind of irk me about the transgender experience. I’ve never met a mtf trans that didn’t try her best to hit almost every feminine stereotype ever made. I’ve never met a butch trans woman, for instance.

I’m a woman. I don’t wear makeup and rarely wear dresses. I don’t love shoes. I don’t feel pressure to look perfect. That doesn’t mean I’m less of a woman than those who do. I have met plenty of “butch” women who were also quite comfortable with being women. They just eschew most of the feminine stereotypes. I find it offensive that all of these feminine trappings seem to be required if you are really a woman. It’s not true at all.

I’m not against trans women at all, but I do think it’s sad that they seem just as trapped in gender stereotypes as anyone else. If not even more so.

Darth_Algar's avatar


Perhaps the reason you’ve never met a butch trans is because maybe they don’t feel very butch, but do feel very feminine, even stereotypically so.

ibstubro's avatar

Thanks, @keobooks. That goes to the heart of what I was getting at, but it’s harder for me to express it, being male.

keobooks's avatar

Ehhh.. I can’t explain it well. I just think that there’s a lot more to being female than wearing makeup, loving evening gowns and high heels. And for many trans women, that seems to be the end all be all of the experience.

I’ve had people suggest that I’m genderqueer because I’ve never been very feminine, and I find it insulting. I am comfortable with my gender. I just have never felt the need to be girly.

And I feel that if you think there’s little more to being a woman than long hair, dresses and makeup, you’re cheapening what it means to be a woman.

Darth_Algar's avatar


You’re assuming that they think that’s all there is to being a women. Perhaps they know it’s not, but they personally feel very feminine. Couldn’t me also flip this question around and ask why do female-to-male transgenders try their best to hit every male stereotype?

keobooks's avatar

Sure. Why not? It’s just that Jenner doesn’t speak for ftm transgendered people so it wouldn’t quite fit here.

Darth_Algar's avatar

She doesn’t speak for mtf transgenders ether. She speaks for Caitlyn Jenner.

cookieman's avatar

“And for many trans women, that seems to be the end all be all of the experience.”

@keobooks: Perhaps it’s just the novelty of the new, long desired, gender. Maybe in time, once more comfortable as a woman, those stereotypical trappings fall away.

ibstubro's avatar

Ripped from the headlines:

“Caitlyn Jenner delivered a must-watch speech about acceptance and being a role model that moved the ESPYs…”
“Jazz Jennings on ‘Role Model’ Caitlyn Jenner at the ESPYs: ‘She’s Really Making a Difference’”
“Here’s why role models like Caitlyn Jenner matter for trans…”
“Caitlyn Jenner a role model, says Winnipeg transgender…”
“Caitlyn Jenner Style: How She Is A Role Model For Older…”

These pictures seem to me to be mean spirited? Deliberately unflattering?

ibstubro's avatar

Perhaps Bruce can get a pretty woman like Dr. Marci Bowers to perform his genital reassignment surgery?

I’ve been looking at pictures of trans people, @keobooks, and I get it. The stereotype image thing.
If you identified all your life with being a man, you would want to be Johnny Depp as a trans. The media ultimate. Men were exposed as boys and had time to grow out of it. Trans would not?

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